Intermediate Yoga Lesson Plan – Utrasana – Camel Pose ( Back Strength and Flexibility – 60 mins )

1. Introduction

Place mat nearer to the wall . Teacher and students will sit in easy seat pose or any comfortable seating on the mat  . Check if anybody is pregnant , medical condition or surgery or have any pain at all . Check their flexibility  . Let them know that lesson is focusing on back strength and flexibility .

2. Breathing Exercise

Start with chant Om for 3 times .  Practice Ujjayi breathing together . During the Ujjayi breathing practice , remind them to focus on ujjayi breathing and drishti points too .

3. Warm up joints 

Warm up from sitting down , start from head to toes . Simple twist and stretches . Low lunges to standing stretches , forward bend . Do some core exercise . Make sure they are warm before doing Sun Salutation .

4. Surya Namaskara

Sun Salutation A – 3 sets
Sun Salutation B – 3 sets

5. Anjaneyasana ( Crescent Moon Pose ) 2 sets

Half vinyasa down , from forward fold to chaturanga to upward dog to downward dog to low lunge .

  1. From downward facing dog , exhale to bring the right foot forward to low lunge . The front leg is bend at 90 degrees with knee stack right above the ankle and thigh parallel to mat while the left leg stretch to the back and knee rest on the mat . Note : Check alignment , hips are square , front foot pronate and contract thigh muscles and turn the right thigh outward so that the knee will be align with the ankle . If the back leg knee is uncomfortable then place a towel underneath it.
  2. Inhale , sweep both arms up by lengthening it to ceiling at the same time you will lift the ribcage so that you can arch your back , sink the hips down and gaze up . Hold for 5 breaths .
  3. Exhale and windmill hands down to plank to upward dog to downward dog then repeat the left side .

6. Parivrtta Utkatasana  ( Revolved Chair Pose ) 2 sets

  1. From Tadasana , inhale , sweep the hands from the floor up to the ceiling . Sit as low as possible , engage the mulabandha so that lower back is straight and allow the weight of the upper body to sink into your pelvis . Make sure knees not go over the ankles . Lengthening arms towards the ceiling with palms together .
  2. Exhale and bring palms to the heart center and twist torso to the right and place the left upper arm against the right outer knee . Press against the knee to have a deeper twist and try to place palm at the heart center .
  3. Inhale and turn to look over the right shoulder . Engage the gluteus and mulabandha . Hold for 5 breaths .
  4. Exhale to turn the torso back to front with arms lengthening up to the ceiling and repeat to the left side .

7. Bhujangasana ( Cobra Pose ) 2 sets

Half vinyasa down , from forward fold to chaturanga to upward dog to downward dog to dandasana .

  1. Lie on the stomach . Place the hands flat on the mat next to the chest with elbow bend . Have the legs straight with inner thighs , knees and ankles touching . Roll the shoulder back and retract the scapula while placing the face down on the mat .
  2. Inhale , press down the hands and to lift chest and head , elongate the neck to look up. Hold for 5 breaths .
  3. Exhale to lower down . Repeat once more .

Half Vinyasa , from chaturanga to upward dog to downward dog then jump or step to sitting .

8. Utrasana ( Camel Pose )
Let the students know that they will do the half camel pose near the wall .

  1. Kneel down with the hip width apart touching the wall . Palms on the buttocks with fingers facing down .
  2. Roll the shoulder back . Press the hips and thighs into the wall by slightly contracting the buttocks and thighs . Toes can be tuck or top of feet flat onto the mat . Look forward without dropping the head back yet .
  3. Inhale deeply and slowly drop head to look at ceiling . Open up the chest to ceiling  while keeping the hips against the wall . This is to give them the idea that hips should move forward instead of collapsing back . Hold for few breathes .
  4. Exhale and come out of the pose by slowly lift the head up .

Depending on their flexibilty and strength , students can try full camel pose near the wall .

  1. Kneel down with the hip width apart touching the wall . Palms on the buttocks with fingers facing down.
  2. Roll the shoulder back . Press the hips and thighs into the wall by slightly contracting the buttocks and thighs . Toes can be tuck or top of feet flat onto the mat . Look forward without dropping the head back yet .
  3. Inhale deeply and grab the heels in full camel pose and slowly drop head to look at ceiling . Open up the chest to ceiling while keeping the hips against the wall . Hold for few breathes.
  4. Exhale and to come out of the pose by placing the palms back on the buttocks and slowly lift up the head and upper body back to kneeling .

They can do the full camel pose away from the wall .

  1. Kneel down with the hip width apart . Palms on the buttocks with fingers facing down.
  2. Roll the shoulders and upper body back . Look forward .
  3. Inhale and open the chest and push hips forward . Grab the heels once they are stable then drop the head back and relax the throat .
  4. Breathe in deeply into the chest and hold for 5 breaths . Come out of the pose by placing the palms back on the buttocks and slowly lift up the head and upper body back to kneeling .
  5. Then rest in balasana  ( child pose ) .

9 . Ananda Balasana ( Happy Baby Pose )

  1. Lie on the back . Exhale and bend knees towards the body .
  2. Inhale and hold the outside of the feet with your hands .  If can’t reach can use rope to loop over each sole  . Bring your upper thigh as close towards the ground while tailbone maintain close to the ground . This pose is good stretch for thighs , lower back and hamstrings . Hold for 5 breaths .

10. Supta Masyendrasana ( Double legs lift supine twist )

  1. From Ananda Balasana . Inhale and bring knees together towards the body .
  2. Exhale and bring both arms out to the side at shoulders level and palms firmly on the ground . Slowly lift the bended knees to the right keeping the knees and legs stacked . Look over to the left to feel the twist . Stay for 5 breaths . You may use the right hand to hold the legs down .
  3. Exhale and lift the legs to the center then bring it to the left . Make sure knees and legs are stacked . Look over to the right and hold for 5 breaths .

Notes : This pose stretches your chest , shoulder , lower back , hips , middle spine and upper back . Improves digestion .

11. Savasana ( 5 mins )

  1. Guide the students to relax . Lie on the back with the legs apart and feet facing out . The arms spread outward away from the body so that the scapula can rest on the mat . Palms facing up . Stay 5 min.
  2. After 5 minutes guide them back to their physical bodies .
  3. Inhale and stretch the arms above the head and legs straight on the mat . Bend your knees and bring it up to the body and rock gently . Slowly lift up to seating position with eyes closed .

12. Closing with Om